So, I find myself on the come-down from the euphoria of publishing my first book. Yesterday, a final draft copy arrived in the post, and after half an hour of squinting and hovering with a red pen – that ultimately wasn’t used – my finger rather heavily clicked on the ‘publish’ button and I found myself an author. Now; I suppose technically I’ve been an author for a while in one sense – through semantic publishing/new media. AkA, writing blog posts, publishing vlogs, magazines, etc. But you mention that to people and their eyes kind of glaze over – yet show them a book and they pep up. 500 years after Guttenberg invented the printing press, publishing a book still has weight that other forms of publishing doesn’t. It makes it ‘real’ somehow.
So, how did I become an accidental author? Well, it starts with me teaching tincturemaking to a couple of friends who shadowed me in the dispensary. Though simple, the mathematics of tincture-making can be a bit confusing – it’s a bit mind-boggling to understand the ‘algorithm’ – the process behind why you’re calculating what you’re calculating. So, I suggested to my students that I make a ‘cheat sheet’ of easy to use values for use in tincturemaking. Unfortunately what I hadn’t realised is that making one simple ‘cheat sheet’ is almost impossible. Fast forward a couple of months, and two Sundays ago I found myself walking through the woods, kicking piles of leaves while walking the dogs. I got a text from one of my students asking if I’d got round to making the cheat ‘sheet’. I wondered how on earth I was going to say that it couldn’t be done without a lot of work and 50-odd sheets. I suddenly had a brainwave… and found myself having to walk quickly to a fallen log I know well so I could sit down and write my idea. The idea was to make a small book – of cheat sheets – effectively lookup tables for tincturemaking. Top and tail the sheets with information on tincturemaking and other resources and you’ve got a small book. As far as I know, no-one’s actually done something like this before – plenty of books tell you how to calculate tincture specs., but don’t do it for you.
I got home and worked out how I was going to set about publishing the book. Put a post on Facebook to gauge interest, and by mid-evening was sitting down to write. I wrote the core of the book in three days – well, technically three days and three half-nights. The longest part of the whole process was sending it off to be printed, and waiting for a draft copy to pop through my letterbox!
So there we are, the Tincture Maker’s Cheat Sheet is now on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1979500789/ – it’s also on the international Amazon sites but search for it there to buy in your own currency.
This is just the start of a writing journey – I’m sure of it. I now have my sights set on three other book ideas!
Categories: The Journey